EC Welcomes Parliament's Vote on Animal Feed Law

EU - Yesterday, the European Parliament adopted in first reading a Regulation to replace the current legislation on marketing and use of feed, both for farm animals and pets, based on a Commission proposal dating back less than one year.
calendar icon 6 February 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

The new legislation considerably simplifies the existing procedures and improves the information farmers and pet owners will get on the feed they buy for their animals. It will help to promote innovation and competitiveness in the European feed sector and lead to a more integrated single market for feed by reducing the administrative burden for feed operators.

Androulla Vassiliou, EU Health Commissioner said, "I am very satisfied that the European Parliament and the Council have reached agreement so quickly on this key proposal. This new legislation represents a major step forward for the simplification and modernisation of existing procedures for labelling and marketing animal feed and pet food. The new Regulation will make the overall system more efficient while maintaining the high level of protection of animal health, animal welfare, food and feed safety we have achieved in the EU. At the same time it will bring clarity to the EU livestock sector and help to boost its competitiveness."

The new regulation caters for modern marketing conditions and addresses the different information needs of the specific types of feed purchasers, such as qualified farmers and ordinary pet owners, and up to date streams of commercialisation such as the internet. Furthermore, it establishes a new co-regulation approach which delegates competences in non-safety relevant areas to feed operators, subject to approval by the Commission. By considerably simplifying existing legislation, it reduces administrative burden for all stakeholders.

The text contains provisions on the following main issues:

  • Responsibility of the feed business operators.
  • Negative list with prohibited substances for feed use.
  • Mandatory labelling particulars for feed materials and mixed feed. Specific mandatory labelling requirements are laid down for feed materials, compound feed (including pet food) and "dietetic" feed. Any claim attached to a feed must be properly substantiated.
  • Creation of a guide to good labelling for farm animal feed and one for pet food in co-regulation. The development of EU codes of good labelling practice in the context of voluntary labelling provisions, for example on how much chicken a pet food contains if it is labelled "with chicken", or on how feed additives are labelled.
  • Establishment of a Community Catalogue of feed materials in co-regulation. The regulation transfers the initiative for updating the EU's list of feed materials, specifying the most relevant compounds used in feed, from the legislator to feed operators. Market transparency will be improved, because the list of feed materials will better reflect current formulations and more quickly incorporate innovations such as co-products from bio-fuel production.

The Commission welcomes the work done by the European Parliament and the Council as all the key objectives of the initial proposal have been maintained in the text resulting from the co-decision process.

The new legislation has to be formally adopted by the Council, and it will enter into force later this year.

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